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Calipari expects “war” with Georgia

Dominique Hawkins (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

The last time Kentucky played Georgia, senior guard J.J. Frazier had 36 points for the Bulldogs. Could John Calipari turn to senior Dominique Hawkins to defend him when the teams play Friday afternoon in the SEC Tournament?

“I put on the tape of our game with them, and the guy that won the game for us was Dom. The way he played, how he changed the complexion of the game and the things that he did. And the other guy was Mike Mulder making some shots because we had a bunch of guys that couldn’t make a shot,” Calipari said.

“But, look, Georgia has – both games – when I watched the tape, I didn’t realize that it was like that. Because you have a vision that we won by eight. What? We were down with 50 seconds to go. I mean, so, I know how good they are. I know how well coached they are. (Yante) Maten is back playing. You know what, he’s one of the better four/threes in our league and a 20-point scorer, so it’ll be a war.

“They all are at this time. I called it. I said, when you look at all these games, they’re all going to be decided late in the game because our league, we have 11 teams in the top 100. I think we have six in the top 50. Well, teams lost. How about Missouri? How about them fighting for their coach, which I thought was outstanding. It’s going to be a heck of a tournament for people to watch.”

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  1. Mike

    Of course it is going to be a war. Every game we have played since december seems to have been one. The team that I worry about the most in this tourney is Vandy because they are playing more consistent than us as of late, and they shoot 3’s very well and we don’t defend very well. Anyone that isn’t worried about us from here on out can’t deal with a lot of reality because we don’t do a lot of things well and our 4 position is almost nonexistent.

    1. Cats79

      Mike, We don’t defend? our defense has carry us the last few games my opinion.

      1. Mike

        I left out that we don’t defend the 3 that well. We also don’t have a good “shutdown” guy so watch Mateen or Frazier go off on us big time.

        1. TheProfessor

          It would be helpful if Mike paid some attention to the facts in forming your opinions. UK opponents make 31.2% of their 3 point attempts. Again, that is not the best in the country for sure, which is 28.8% by Morgan State. Among the more familiar names that do a better job than the Cats on this item are South Carolina, 29.5%, Duke and Gonzaga at 30.0%, Florida 30.2%, Oregon 30.5%, and Louisville 30.9%. The UK 31.2% is good enough to be the 21st best this season. That means there are 330 other NCAA D1 teams that do it worse than UK.

          Mike is entitled to his opinions, but not his own facts.

          1. Persimmon Knob

            Mike is the most negative person I have ever encountered. His constant demeaning of all things UK makes one suspect there may be an agenda lurking in the caustic entries he contributes here. His home life must be a real experience.
            Your stats regarding the defensive abilities of the current edition of Wildcat basketball is eye opening. Even more so is the fact that Louisville, never a defensive standout, is 3/10ths of a point better. I’m still not a fan of statistics, there are too many variables involved especially at the college level. They do however identify trends and make for interesting conversation.

  2. TheProfessor

    Georgia’s effective field goal percentage (combined 2 pt and 3 pt shooting) is poor. It ranks #253 per Pomeroy. UK’s on the other hand is good, at #57 out of 351 teams. On the defensive end, UK’s effective field goal defense is also #57 per Pomeroy, while Georgia’s is slightly better at #37. Yet, it is likely that the Georgia UK faced twice is not anything close to their average. Actually, Coach Fox all but said this tonight, when he said in two games against UK this season, his team played great, but could not get over the hump.

    Since December, this team is 15-3. The biggest difference between the first 13 games and the last 18 games is the quality of the opposition. The strength of schedule for the first 13 games was 0.048 points per possession, compared to 0.136 ppp for the last 18 games.

    The increase in the quality of the opposition, by its very nature, results in games that are more competitive. Add to this data the fact that nearly every SEC opponent plays UK like their hair is on fire, and gives UK their best shot every night.

    This team, with all the warts and issues, is the 7th most efficient team in the nation, is one of five teams with top 20 offense and defense. Is it #1? No it is not. We all want UK to be #1, but this is a very good team, notwithstanding the fact that it is not the most efficient team in the nation as we begin the post season.

    I expect that Georgia will again play UK with their hair on fire, and play better than their average tendencies. However, I also expect UK to win the game by 10 to 20 points.

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